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TITLE:  HAITI HUMAN RIGHTS PRACTICES, 1994
AUTHOR:  U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
DATE:  FEBRUARY 1995









                             HAITI


Haiti underwent profound changes in 1994.  An illegal military 
regime, which had assumed power after ousting President Jean- 
Bertrand Aristide in a 1991 coup, retained firm control of the 
country for the first 9 months.  During this time, the level of 
human rights abuses escalated.  Meanwhile, the international 
community was imposing additional pressures on Haiti--including 
a near-total economic embargo--in response to the military 
leaders' failure to abide by their agreements with the 
international community in 1993 to step down from power.

The human rights abuses during these 9 months of the de facto 
regime included political and extrajudicial killings by the 
security forces and their allies; disappearances; and 
politically motivated rapes, beatings, and other mistreatment 
of citizens, both in and out of prison.  Although the 
Constitution places responsibility for public security and law 
enforcement on the Haitian armed forces (Forces Armees d'Haiti, 
or FAd'H, which include the police), under the de facto regime 
the FAd'H and its various affiliates completely disrupted the 
rule of law and used their monopoly of power for financial gain 
as well as to subjugate and abuse the populace.

Paramilitary personnel in civilian clothes, including "attaches"
and provincial section chiefs (the latter were adjuncts to the 
FAd'H, authorized under military regulations), both assisted 
the FAd'H and conducted much of the intimidation and violent 
repression.  Other supporters, including a group that had 
emerged in 1993 as the Revolutionary Front for Advancement and 
Progress of Haiti (FRAPH), allied themselves with FAd'H 
leadership.  FRAPH consolidated its position throughout the 
country in the first part of 1994, opening offices in most 
towns and villages, and infiltrating poorer neighborhoods.

The human rights monitors of the United Nations/Organization of 
American States International Civilian Mission (ICM), who 
returned to Haiti in late January after having left in October 
1993, documented the ongoing state of repression and brought it 
to international attention.  They were, however, themselves 
subject to harassment and threats from the de facto authorities 
and their allies.  After April, lack of security confined the 
ICM largely to Port-au-Prince and other main cities.  The de 
facto authorities expelled the ICM in early July 1994; 
afterwards, other human rights and local organizations reported 
an increase in violations.

On July 31, the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), 
"gravely concerned" by the "deterioration of the humanitarian 
situation in Haiti, in particular the continuing escalation of 
the illegal de facto regime of systematic violations of civil 
liberties," adopted Resolution 940, which called for the 
formation of a multinational coalition to use "all necessary 
means" to remove the illegal regime and return Haiti's 
legitimate Government to power.

On September 19, the U.S.-led Multinational Force (MNF) 
peacefully entered Haiti, 1 day after an accord worked out by 
former President Jimmy Carter, former Chairman of the Joint 
Chiefs of Staff Colin Powell, and Senator Sam Nunn, who 
traveled to Haiti and negotiated on behalf of the U.S. 
Government at the request of President Clinton.  The accord 
required General Raoul Cedras and the military regime he headed 
to resign from power by October 15.

Following its deployment, the MNF worked to establish a secure 
and stable environment, and it restored Haitian cabinet 
ministers to their Ministries.  Parliamentarians were able to 
return to their offices to work on urgent legislation, 
including an amnesty bill and a constitutionally mandated law 
to create a national police force separate from the armed 
forces and under the supervision of the Ministry of Justice.  
Following the departure of General Cedras and other leaders of 
the de facto regime, President Aristide returned to Haiti on 
October 15, culminating the restoration to power of the 
legitimate Government.  The ICM monitors also returned during 
this time.

Parliament adopted the amnesty legislation in early October and 
the police bill in early November, as well as a law banning 
paramilitary forces.  The Government worked with U.S. officials 
to evaluate members of the FAd'H and create an interim public 
security force of 3,500, whose training included a human rights 
component.  This security force was deployed throughout the 
country by year's end, under the supervision of International 
Police Monitors (IPM's) from over 20 nations, and assisted by 
police trainees.  The Government also developed plans for a new 
police academy to train between 3,000 and 4,000 new civilian 
police in 4-month intensive courses beginning in early 1995.  
In late December, the Government announced a reduction in FAd'H 
personnel from 6,000 to 3,500.

Yearend MNF reports stated that a secure and stable environment 
had been established and that political violence had been 
drastically reduced.  At the same time there was a noticeable 
increase in crime, primarily around the capital.  By the end of 
1994, the executive branch had promulgated the police law but 
not the amnesty bill.  The mandates of all members of the 
Chamber of Deputies, two-thirds of the Senate, and most 
municipal offices neared an end.  All three branches agreed to 
select members for a Provisional Electoral Council to conduct 
mandated legislative and municipal elections early in 1995.

Weakened first by years of government mismanagement and then by 
international sanctions after the 1991 coup, the economy 
deteriorated drastically in 1994, and the already difficult 
living conditions of the general populace declined even more.  
While contraband gasoline continued to enter the country, its 
price soared, limiting citizens' ability to operate their 
automobiles.  Fuel shortages also curtailed public 
transportation, isolated far-flung towns, and reduced the 
availability of electric power.  On the return of President 
Aristide, however, the international community began to work 
with the Government to rebuild Haiti's economy.  Humanitarian 
assistance programs were expanded, and programs to provide 
access to medical care continued.

RESPECT FOR HUMAN RIGHTS

Section 1  Respect for the Integrity of the Person, Including 
           Freedom from:

     a.  Political and Other Extrajudicial Killing

In the 5-month period until its expulsion by the de facto 
regime on July 13, the ICM recorded 340 cases of extrajudicial 
killings and suspicious deaths.  In the months following the 
ICM's departure from Haiti, one coalition of local human rights 
organizations reported 41 extrajudicial killings for the month 
of July alone.  Local organizations reported that extrajudicial 
killings continued at that rate in August and early September.

Prior to September 19, military and police authorities, 
assisted by their civilian adjuncts, were responsible for 
several multiple killings and "security actions."  In February 
police killed at least six young men who belonged to a 
political organization in a raid on a house in the Cite Soleil 
neighborhood of Port-au-Prince.  Police sources asserted the 
deaths resulted from a gang dispute.  ICM monitors, however, 
found evidence of a well-planned police raid on the group.  At 
the end of April, military authorities in Gonaives, who were 
seeking a pro-Aristide activist, opened fire on a wide area of 
beach in the slum area of Raboteau, killing as many as 26 
persons.  They asserted the action was in response to a 
terrorist attack on the police station, but there was no 
evidence of any such attack.  Also in July, citizens discovered 
the shallow graves of 12 young men in Gressiers, near Leogane.  
The police asserted that the 12 were car thieves killed in a 
gun battle, but local residents reported hearing no shots 
nearby, and the police did not explain the unorthodox burial.  
In late June and July, the military commander in Les Cayes 
department instituted a series of sweeps, allegedly seeking 
those responsible for an attack on the military post in Camp 
Perrin.  At least five of the men the police arrested during 
these sweeps died in police custody, following reported 
beatings and torture.

Attaches, FRAPH members, and armed urban bandits called 
"zenglendos" took advantage of the climate of impunity to carry 
out both political and criminal killings.  Following the murder 
of a FRAPH member in late December 1993, unidentified 
terrorists set fires which engulfed several blocks in Cite 
Soleil, resulting in at least six deaths, many more missing, 
and hundreds left homeless.  Witnesses gave evidence supporting 
FRAPH complicity.  Armed civilians killed a group of four known 
Aristide supporters in a late May attack, also in Cite Soleil.

In a high-profile incident, unknown persons shot and killed 
Father Jean-Marie Vincent, an associate of President Aristide 
and former activist priest, outside the chapter house of his 
order in Port-au-Prince on August 28.  An ambulance and police 
investigatory team arrived within minutes, before the killing 
had even been reported.  A week later, an unidentified gunman 
killed a local attorney in a drive-by shooting, within sight of 
police headquarters, allegedly because of his work on a 
prominent murder trial.  The authorities, responding to intense 
pressure particularly on the Vincent murder (see Section 2.c.), 
claimed to have undertaken investigations but they made no 
serious effort and never announced any results.

Through the first 9 months of 1994, residents continued to 
discover the bodies of persons killed by gunshot or machete in 
the streets of Port-au-Prince.  Certain roads were particularly 
well-known as drop-off sites for corpses, which sometimes 
remained there for several days until health authorities picked 
them up.  Given the complete lack of police or judicial 
investigation, it is difficult to determine how many of these 
were politically motivated cases, as opposed to criminal, but 
there is sufficient evidence to support the presumption that a 
significant number were, in fact, political killings.  FRAPH 
members or other armed civilians reportedly had seized some of 
these persons prior to the discovery of the remains.  The de 
facto government not only took no action to curb political 
killings but even accused the ICM and other human rights groups 
of purchasing cadavers and leaving them in the streets to 
discredit the military regime.

Political violence was dramatically reduced in the weeks after 
the entry of the MNF on September 19.  While politically 
motivated violence continued in isolated instances, it became 
infrequent by early November, although there was a noticeable 
increase in common crime, particularly around the capital.  In 
one instance, armed civilians attacked peaceful pro-Aristide 
demonstrators in Port-au-Prince with grenades on September 29, 
killing several people.  A FRAPH attack against populist 
marchers September 30 resulted in two dead.  Anti-Aristide 
elements remained, particularly in remote areas, where they 
killed and intimidated local inhabitants in several instances.  
Neighbors beat a well-known Haitian painter to death in early 
October; some human rights groups alleged that the assailants 
were attaches.  The death of the deputy mayor of the central 
plateau town of Mirebalais, who was found beheaded in early 
November, may have been involved in a dispute with a local 
section chief.  In incidents in both Port-au-Prince and the 
provinces, crowds beat--sometimes to death--individuals they 
named as attaches, members of FRAPH or, in two cases in the 
central plateau and northern provinces, members of the FAd'H.

The MNF also documented attacks against members of the Haitian 
armed forces and FRAPH adherents.  Two opposition members of 
Parliament reported their houses were attacked during the 
weekend of President Aristide's return to Haiti, and mobs tore 
down police stations in several towns, including the capital.  
At the end of the year, the U.N. Secretary General reported to 
the UNSC that "following the arrival of the MNF and the 
subsequent disintegration of the FAd'H, the human rights 
situation has improved.  Politically motivated violence and 
human rights abuses have decreased, though individual acts 
still occur sporadically and the ICM, for instance, has 
investigated beatings of detainees by the FAd'H.  It has also 
received reports of violent attacks by former section chiefs, 
attaches, or alleged FRAPH members.  Since the killing of the 
second deputy mayor of Mirebalais on November 4, 1994, however, 
the ICM has not heard of any murder ascribed to the former 
military or paramilitary forces."

     b.  Disappearance

The ICM reported 131 cases of disappearance or "seizures" from 
January through June, and human rights organizations continued 
to report disappearances throughout the summer and until the 
arrival of the MNF.  Historically, those who disappear in Haiti 
either are never found or are found dead.  There is credible 
evidence of FRAPH and attache participation in many of these 
reported disappearances.  Information gathered by the ICM and 
other human rights groups, as well as that uncovered in refugee 
case investigations, indicates that both armed civilians and 
military personnel in civilian clothing seized people and took 
them to private "jails" where these armed groups mistreated and 
sometimes killed their victims.

There were no reports of disappearances after the entry of the 
MNF.

     c.  Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading 
         Treatment or Punishment

Although the 1987 Constitution prohibits unnecessary force or 
restraint, psychological pressure, or physical brutality, the 
military regime and the de facto authorities largely ignored 
these constitutional protections, and ill-treatment remained 
widespread until the entry of the MNF in September.  The de 
facto authorities routinely employed brutal beatings with fists 
and clubs, torture, and other cruel treatment on detainees.  
When the MNF inspected the prison in Les Cayes, it found 40 
detainees, some of whom had beating wounds on the buttocks 
which went to the bone.  The de facto authorities tolerated and 
condoned widespread physical abuse of detainees, creating a 
climate of impunity which resulted in some particularly vicious 
activities.  The authorities and their paramilitary adjuncts 
reputedly made use of the "djak", in which a victim is tied in 
a position which permits a more thorough beating by club, and 
of "kalot marasa," a torture technique in which the assailant 
claps both hands over a victim's ears simultaneously, bursting 
the eardrums.  In the southwest town of Chardonnieres, the 
local corporal cut off the ear of an accused thief and carved 
his initials in his flesh.  The authorities disciplined 
him--and then only nominally--only after he beat a priest who 
was related to a senior officer.

Paramilitary assailants (and reportedly military officers in 
mufti) increasingly used rape as an instrument of 
intimidation.  The ICM registered 52 cases of politically 
motivated rape from January through May, and reports continued 
to be received after the ICM's expulsion.  In some cases, the 
victim herself had been involved in some political activity.  A 
more common pattern, however, was the use of rape or other 
sexual abuse as a means of intimidating a woman's politically 
active male relatives and neighbors.  In some instances, 
assailants reportedly abused girls as young as 12 or 13 years 
of age.  The majority of such rapes occurred in the slums of 
Port-au-Prince, although some cases were reported in the 
provinces.

Prisoners and detainees suffered from a lack of the most basic 
hygiene facilities as well as from inadequate food and health 
care, including medical treatment for injuries received in 
custody.  In most prisons, prisoners and detainees had to rely 
on family to bring food and medicine; there were many reliable 
reports, including in both Les Cayes and Leogane, of the 
authorities denying families entry for that purpose.  The 
authorities routinely violated the law by detaining children 
together with adults.  A nongovernmental organization (NGO) 
that had performed prison monitoring was unable to continue in 
1994, after threats and attacks forced its director into exile 
in late 1993.  The International Committee of the Red Cross 
(ICRC) did, however, appoint a permanent representative in 
Haiti and was able to obtain permission for some monitoring 
from the de facto government.  The ICM monitors were able only 
occasionally to gain access to detainees, and not at all after 
April.

After the MNF's deployment, the ICRC continued to monitor 
prison conditions with a full team of delegates.  Although the 
MNF was able to make improvements, the military regime had 
allowed the prisons to deteriorate so much that the Aristide 
Government had not been able to develop a comprehensive
rehabilitation plan by year's end.

     d.  Arbitrary Arrest, Detention, or Exile

Arbitrary arrest and detention were a persistent human rights 
problem in Haiti since the 1991 coup.  The ICM, in a last press 
release before its July 1994 departure, simply listed this 
category of violation at "several hundred."

According to the Constitution, the authorities may arrest a 
person only if they apprehend the suspect during the commission 
of a crime, or if an authorized judge has issued a warrant.  
The authorities must bring the person before a judge within 
48 hours of arrest.  In practice, however, soldiers and 
provincial officials regularly used arbitrary arrest and 
detention to intimidate the people and to extort money from 
them.  The frequency of this practice makes it difficult to 
determine the number of arrests on purely political grounds, 
but the two were often interrelated.  Provincial section chiefs 
generally knew well the members of local grassroots 
organizations and reportedly detained them during times of 
political tension and released them upon payment of a bribe.

Police also sometimes arrested family members of a wanted man 
and held them to force him out of hiding.  For example, police 
arrested 17-year-old Balaguer Metayer in November 1993 when 
they sought his brother in connection with "terrorism" in the 
Gonaives area.  Despite strong international pressure and a 
court order in Haiti, the police held the youth until August, 
when they abruptly released him.  Most arbitrary arrest cases 
pass unnoticed outside the victim's family.  In some instances, 
international pressure succeeded in bringing about the release 
of some detainees, such as Aristide supporter Gardy Leblanc in 
Miragoane in August and an approved refugee applicant in the 
southern town of Chantal.

The Constitution provides for the separation of the police from 
the armed forces.  President Aristide sent legislation to the 
Parliament to fulfill this provision by creating a new civilian 
police force under the supervision of the Ministry of Justice.  
After parliamentary approval, the Government promulgated the 
new law on December 26.

Following the restoration of the legitimate Government by the 
Multinational Force, the international community initiated a 
program to create an interim police force meeting 
internationally recognized human rights standards to assume 
public security responsibilities and to select, train, and 
deploy a new civilian police force.  The program included four 
elements:  International Police Monitors (IPM's), an Interim 
Public Security Force (IPSF), police trainees from the U.S. 
safe haven in Guantanamo, and a new police academy.

In consultation with U.S. officials and human rights 
organizations, the Aristide Government evaluated former FAd'H 
personnel for human rights abuses and criminal activities.  The 
nearly 3,000 personnel selected comprise the IPSF.  To augment 
the IPSF, a group of 964 police trainees from the migrants in 
the U.S. safe haven in Guantanamo were selected and trained.  
Both the IPSF and the trainees--who assist them by performing 
routine police functions such as managing traffic--received 
training that included strong human rights components.

At year's end, the interim police had been deployed throughout 
the country, under the direct supervision of the over 1,000 law 
enforcement personnel from some 20 nations who make up the 
IPM's.  The IPM's are deployed to each of Haiti's districts in 
mentor the police and monitor their activities and prevent 
violations of internationally recognized human rights standards.

By December, preparations by the Haitian Government and U.S. 
officials were well advanced for the creation of a police 
training facility to build a new, professional police force 
recruited openly and fairly from throughout Haiti.  The 
academy, which was to open at the end of January 1995, would 
train an initial complement of 4,000 police in a series of 
4-month courses.  These new police will replace IPSF personnel 
as they graduate.

By the end of the year, the MNF, acting under the mandate of 
UNSC Resolution 940 to use all necessary means to establish a 
stable and secure environment, had detained approximately 30 
persons, until such time as they could be turned over to a 
competent Haitian judicial authority for eventual disposition 
as may be appropriate under Haitian law.

The Constitution prohibits involuntary exile of citizens.  
While some have left the country voluntarily for personal or 
political reasons, the Government did not make use of exile as 
punishment.

     e.  Denial of Fair Public Trial

The Constitution provides for an independent judiciary and the 
right to a fair public trial.  However, this right is widely 
and severely abridged, primarily because the judicial system is 
highly inefficient and corrupt after years of governmental 
neglect and popular contempt dating back to the Duvalier era.  
Political figures across the spectrum recognize that reform of 
the judicial system is critical; it is understaffed and its 
members lack training and adequate compensation.

The Constitution expressly denies police and judicial 
authorities the right to interrogate persons charged with a 
crime unless the suspect has legal counsel present or waives 
this right.  Nevertheless, interrogation without legal counsel 
present is the norm, and the use of beatings and torture to 
extract confessions was widespread prior to deployment of the 
MNF.  Governments since the Duvalier era have appointed and 
removed judges at will and have exerted political influence at 
every stage of the judicial process.  Although the Aristide 
Government has asserted it will select judges in accordance 
with the Constitution, the Parliament has not yet adopted 
legislation establishing the mechanisms necessary for selection 
of judicial personnel.

The Code of Criminal Procedure fails to assign clear 
responsibility to investigate crimes and divides authority to 
prosecute among police, prosecutors, and investigating 
magistrates.  The Code stipulates two criminal court sessions 
per year, each lasting 2 weeks, to try all major crimes 
requiring a jury trial.  Failure to reform the Code has 
resulted in a huge backlog, with detainees sometimes waiting 
for years in pretrial detention for a court date.  For example, 
during the August session of the criminal assizes, the court 
heard only eight cases.  At the beginning of September, there 
were 534 civil prisoners at the national penitentiary, of whom 
only a fraction were serving sentences.  The rest were accused 
persons held without bail.  If ultimately tried and found 
innocent, the detainee has no recourse against the Government 
for time already served.

Although the Government began to plan reforms of the judicial 
system, at year's end the system remained highly inefficient 
and corrupt, and the Government had brought to justice few 
perpetrators of human rights abuses.  The Government did 
initiate a system of "triage" in which three judges would 
review the cases of persons for whom incarceration is no longer 
appropriate.  In addition, working with U.S. officials, the 
Government began to select Ministry of Justice personnel to 
receive training courses in basic administration of justice 
issues.

Although the Constitution includes the right to counsel, there 
is no law that the Government must provide counsel in the event 
that the accused cannot afford it.

     f.  Arbitrary Interference with Privacy, Family, Home, or 
         Correspondence

The Constitution provides that no house search or seizure of 
papers may take place except in accordance with the law.  
Correspondence is also defined as inviolable.

Prior to September 19, soldiers and other armed persons 
frequently entered private homes for illegal purposes in 
Port-au-Prince and the provinces.  In August there was a rash 
of attacks on the homes of politicians, including 
parliamentarians and the mayor of Petionville, the capital's 
main suburb.  Attaches and FRAPH members were involved in raids 
on homes, but victims also reported seeing soldiers personally 
known to them and dressed in civilian clothing among their 
attackers.  In addition, gangsters violently raided entire 
neighborhoods of Port-au-Prince, taking advantage of their ties 
to police and the general climate of impunity to steal and 
rape.  When the armed persons entered looking for a particular 
individual, they frequently beat or otherwise harmed family 
members during the search.

The police, along with armed civilians acting at their behest, 
frequently used roadblocks to conduct illegal searches, 
especially during periods of real or perceived political 
tension.  The discovery of pro-Aristide posters or literature 
during a police search of a house or vehicle frequently 
resulted in physical abuse and illegal arrest.  There were 
credible reports that police and military also seized private 
correspondence during such searches.

After the arrival of the MNF and the restoration of the 
legitimate Government, such abuses were dramatically reduced.

Section 2  Respect for Civil Liberties, Including:

     a.  Freedom of Speech and Press

The Constitution provides for freedom of speech and the press, 
and, in the last quarter of 1994, these rights were 
increasingly exercised.  The more open climate contrasted with 
the first 9 months of the year when the military regime and de 
facto authorities significantly abridged freedom of expression 
and the press through intimidation and the resultant self-
censorship.  The authorities routinely harassed radio and print 
journalists and vendors of pro-Aristide publications.  The de 
facto regime increased restrictions on the press in late May 
and again with the illegal institution on August 1 of a state 
of siege, issuing a decree forbidding the press to publish 
"foreign propaganda" or information that might "alarm the 
populace."  The decree threatened the broadcast media, warning 
that their facilities were subject to military requisition.  In 
mid-August, the regime forbade the media to use statements and 
information from foreign embassies and their press services.  
The regime also restricted foreign journalists from traveling 
outside of Port-au-Prince and entering certain "strategic 
zones."  The de facto authorities deported a U.S. news team in 
August after filming at the airport and detained the team's two 
Haitian employees for 10 days.

With an illiteracy rate of approximately 80 percent, broadcast 
media, especially Creole-language radio, are the principal 
means by which the populace receives information.  For most of 
the year, there were 14 radio stations in Port-au-Prince, 6 of 
which offered news programming.  Four radio stations operating 
before the September 1991 coup closed permanently, but some 
stations sympathetic to President Aristide, including Tropic 
FM, continued to operate.  Two independent daily newspapers 
operate in Port-au-Prince.  Pro-Aristide weeklies published in 
Haiti and the United States were sold in the streets through 
most of the year; in September, the locally published Libete 
ceased operation, citing increased threats to distributors.  
However, the journal resumed publication soon after arrival of 
the MNF.

In the months following the restoration of President Aristide's 
Government, several new journals appeared, among them a 
U.S.-based magazine, strongly anti-Aristide in its outlook.  
The press covered the activities of the newly restored 
Government and the MNF extensively and without censorship.  
Radio Antilles, a radio station that had gone off the air in 
1991, returned on New Year's Day 1995.  The national television 
station was off the air for a time following the intervention, 
but, just as it resumed broadcasting in December, the Minister 
of Information dismissed its director, a Malval appointee, 
sparking a mass resignation of employees.

     b.  Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and Association

The de facto authorities severely restricted the constitutional 
rights of freedom of assembly and association following the 
1991 coup.  Until the arrival of the MNF, the fear of a 
military or paramilitary attack was sufficient to prevent most 
meetings, including those of nonpolitical organizations, from 
taking place.  There were credible reports from all parts of 
the country that the military engaged in a systematic effort to 
inhibit association.  In July police and armed civilians 
attacked a regular meeting of the K-16 political coalition, led 
by legitimate Port-au-Prince mayor Evans Paul and Senator 
Turnep Delpe.  The participants scattered; the police detained 
one person for a day but killed no one.  The police arrested 
some community organizers, even of nonpolitical organizations, 
and sometimes beat, harassed, or intimidated them into fleeing 
their own communities.  Grassroots liberation theology 
organizations known as "Ti Legliz" remained a strong base of 
support for President Aristide in the countryside.  These 
groups and their leaders were particular targets of military 
and paramilitary harassment.  The police prevented civic 
education, community health, and literacy organizations from 
operating normally.

In a report to the U.N. Security Council covering the end of 
1994, the U.N. Secretary General said, "Haitians can now enjoy 
their fundamental rights, in particular freedom of expression, 
association and assembly.  In a number of places, however, 
people have said that they are afraid to meet or demonstrate, 
because of continued activities by former FRAPH members or 
attaches.  Politically motivated arrests by local judicial 
officials associated with FRAPH have occurred, but arrests for 
the expression of political views have largely ceased.  Large 
numbers of displaced people have come out of hiding and 
returned to their homes.  Overall, there is a feeling of 
liberty and a sense of security which did not exist 
previously.  This is particularly striking in the areas where 
the MNF has been deployed.  The flurry of acts of vengeance and 
retribution which erupted immediately prior to, and after, the 
return of President Jean-Bertrand Aristide on October 15, 1994, 
was short-lived.  The President has repeatedly called for 
reconciliation and his appeals have been heeded by the 
population."

     c.  Freedom of Religion

The Constitution protects the right to practice all religions 
and faiths, provided that practice does not disturb law and 
order.  Religion is an integral part of Haitian life and 
culture and is practiced widely.  There are no government 
restrictions on missionary activities, affiliation with 
overseas coreligionists, religious instruction, or publishing.

There were few high-profile attacks on churches or church-
related organizations in 1994.  There were, however, a number 
of attacks on, and threats against, individual priests openly 
supportive of Aristide or opposed to the de facto authorities.

The August murder of Father Vincent (see Section 1.a.) was 
probably tied to his actual and symbolic role in organizing 
citizens rather than his religious affiliation.  At the same 
time, unidentified persons threatened Pere Samedi, a Ti Legliz 
priest active in the slums of Jeremie, and many churches 
throughout the country bore anti-Aristide graffiti, as well as 
slogans directed against socially activist priests.  In Aquin, 
gunmen fired upon the local Catholic church.  A local army 
officer in Chardonnieres arrested and beat a priest who was 
distributing religious youth journals in early August, and 
armed civilians attempted in July to attack a Belgian priest 
active in the human rights community in Port-au-Prince.

     d.  Freedom of Movement Within the Country, Foreign 
         Travel, Emigration, and Repatriation

There are no legal restrictions on the movement of citizens 
within the country.  The departure of boat people is 
technically illegal, but the authorities rarely enforced the 
pertinent laws.  Occasionally they took some token legal action 
against organizers, and in a few instances they fired on 
departing boat people to deter them by intimidation.  Members 
of the military and police also attempted to intimidate persons 
applying at U.S. refugee processing centers in Haiti by 
harassing and occasionally beating them.  Individuals in the 
military and under the de facto government occasionally 
harassed repatriated boat people in isolated incidents, but the 
authorities did not pursue a policy of general repression 
against them.

The number of internally displaced persons increased due to 
economic, political, and security concerns.  Historically, 
internal migration in Haiti has largely been from the 
countryside to the city, but after the September 1991 coup many 
Haitians reversed this flow, returning to their former abodes.  
This migration continued at the same time that many rural 
families also were moving into the capital and other cities in 
pursuit of economic opportunities.  One estimate by local human 
rights organizations places the number of internally displaced 
Haitians in 1994 at 300,000.

Departures by sea to escape the country's economic and 
political problems continued.  During the first half of the 
year, the United States continued its policy of returning 
Haitians interdicted on the high seas directly to Haiti under 
the terms of the Alien Migrant Interdiction Operation 
agreement.  Both the de facto government and the restored 
democratic Government cooperated in implementing the terms of 
this agreement.  The United States began offering the boat 
people the option of shipboard refugee hearings in May and 
discontinued involuntary repatriation completely in July, 
taking them to safe haven at U.S. naval facilities at 
Guantanamo, Cuba, instead.  After the return of President 
Aristide, the United States repatriated Haitians from the safe 
haven.  The Aristide Government also cooperated in the 
repatriations of Haitian citizens from other countries, 
including The Bahamas and Cuba.

After commercial flights to and from Haiti ceased in July, the 
de facto government occasionally obstructed, but ultimately did 
not prohibit, the departure of citizens across the land border.

Section 3  Respect for Political Rights:  The Right of Citizens 
           to Change Their Government

The September 1991 military coup forcibly abridged the right of 
citizens to change their government.  Coup leaders forced 
President Aristide to flee the country, and most senior members 
of his administration either went into hiding, fled the 
country, or took refuge in foreign embassies.  The continuing 
adamant refusal of the military regime and its backers to allow 
the people's will to be expressed was the root of most 
politically motivated human rights violations.  Voters elected 
members of Parliament and such local officials as mayors along 
with President Aristide at the end of 1990.  The coup leaders 
persecuted some local elected officials and ousted them from 
office after the coup.

Despite international diplomatic efforts and sanctions, a 
military triumvirate continued to control the security forces 
and thus the country.  Commander in Chief General Raoul Cedras, 
Chief of Staff General Philippe Biamby, and Metropolitan Police 
Chief Michel Francois adamantly opposed the return of the 
constitutionally elected President.  Members of Parliament 
remained in place and played a continuing role in political 
events.  In early 1994, many members of Parliament, as well as 
other politicians, worked together on a "parliamentary plan" to 
resolve the political crisis.

After its failure, a group of renegade Senators, including 
eight who had been elected in illegal elections on January 18, 
1993, seized control of the Senate, effectively prohibiting the 
legitimate Senate president from exercising the functions of 
his office.  The Chamber of Deputies was unable to achieve a 
quorum during the summer of 1994, preventing the passage of any 
legislation.  In May the illegal parallel Senate rubberstamped 
the appointment of de facto President Emile Jonassaint and the 
nominations of his cabinet members, but all legal semblance of 
a Parliament had disintegrated by September 12, the closing 
date for the year's Chamber of Deputies session.

President Aristide had appointed Robert Malval Prime Minister 
in 1993.  He resigned in December of that year but continued as 
acting Prime Minister until October.  The military leadership 
and the de facto authorities prevented him and his ministers 
from carrying out most of their functions throughout the first 
three quarters of 1994.  Following the arrival of the MNF, 
President Aristide convoked the National Assembly in special 
session under terms of the Constitution to consider amnesty 
legislation for coup-related crimes, a bill creating a national 
civil police force separate from the military, and other 
legislation.  The Parliament passed both an amnesty bill and 
legislation creating a new police force.  With the end of 
parliamentary and municipal mandates near, legislators, 
politicians, and the President reached a consensus in December 
on a Provisional Electoral Council (CEP).  By year's end, the 
CEP was drafting legislation necessary to carry out the 
elections, which are expected to take place in April or May 
1995.

There are no legal impediments to women's participation in 
politics or government, but in practice the generally lower 
societal status of women limits their role in these fields.  
While there are only 3 women among the 79 members in the 
Chamber of Deputies, there are also 3 women heading ministries 
in the Aristide Cabinet, and 1 female Deputy Minister.

Section 4  Governmental Attitude Regarding International and 
           Nongovernmental Investigation of Alleged Violations 
           of Human Rights

About a dozen local human rights groups exist in Haiti, and 
most grassroots organizations, whether geographically or 
politically based, track violations against their members.  By 
September only a handful of attorneys offered pro bono legal 
assistance to these groups, and all exercised caution as result 
of threats to their safety.  Prior to September 19, human 
rights organization officials reported repeated threats.  In 
July, for example, gun-wielding civilians attacked a Belgian 
priest active in the Haitian religious community and the human 
rights field, but the attackers fled when local residents 
challenged them.  Local human rights groups managed to operate 
freely enough to gather data on reported violations, and to 
offer humanitarian assistance (e.g., shelter, food, medical 
care) to those whom the authorities abused or persecuted.

The ICM, a team of international human rights observers under 
joint United Nations and Organization of American States  
auspices, returned to Haiti in January, after a 3-month 
withdrawal.  The monitors, who numbered about 90, remained 
until July 13, when the de facto government declared the ICM to 
be in illegal status and ordered its expulsion.  Until then, 
the military and the de facto civilian authorities largely 
tolerated the ICM's activities, although local officials 
intermittently blocked ICM monitors from access to prisons.  
The monitors reported ongoing threats, however, from 
paramilitary operatives and attaches.  In March armed civilians 
harassed a team of investigators in the central plateau town of 
Hinche while local military officers stood by without acting.  
In late April, a team in Borgne was the object of an 
orchestrated military demonstration, apparently with the active 
complicity of general staff officers from Port-au-Prince.  The 
international community generally recognized the ICM as both a 
reliable investigatory body and a buffer, during its presence, 
against more egregious violations, at least on the part of the 
regime itself.  The ICM resumed operation in October following 
the arrival of the MNF.

Representatives of international human rights organizations 
visited Haiti from time to time.  These groups also faced 
threats and harassment, but their high profile permitted them 
to operate relatively freely.  In May the Inter-American 
Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) visited to gather 
information on the human rights situation.  The IACHR attempted 
to return in August, but the de facto authorities refused to 
grant clearance for a charter flight to land.  The IACHR 
finally visited in October and noted the improvement in human 
rights observance after arrival of the MNF.  The ICRC 
established a permanent representative in Port-au-Prince and 
was able to perform some prison monitoring, although the de 
facto government was slow in responding to requests to visit 
detainees.  Following the MNF's deployment, the ICRC continued 
to monitor prison conditions at the National Penitentiary and 
at prisons outside Port-au-Prince.

Section 5  Discrimination Based on Race, Sex, Religion, 
           Disability, Language, or Social Status

The 1987 Constitution does not specifically prohibit 
discrimination on the grounds of race, sex, religion, 
disability, language, or social status.  It does, however, 
provide for freedom of religion and guarantees equal working 
conditions regardless of sex, beliefs, or marital status.  It 
specifically states that handicapped persons shall have the 
means to assure their autonomy, education, and independence.

     Women

Although women are often the breadwinners for rural and urban 
poor families, they do not enjoy the same economic and social 
status as men.  In some social strata, tradition limits women's 
roles; peasant women, for example, remain largely in the 
traditional occupations of farming, marketing, and domestic 
tasks.  Poorer families sometimes ration education money to pay 
school fees for male children only.  Nonetheless, women have 
occupied prominent positions in both the public and private 
sectors in recent years.

Knowledgeable local authorities report that both criminal and 
domestic violence and rape occur but are rarely reported or 
prosecuted.  After the MNF's deployment, victims increasingly 
reported criminal incidents, including rape.  In November and 
December, victims reported one to two rapes per week in 
Port-au-Prince.  Existing laws and penalties against these 
crimes would be adequate were they enforced.

     Children

Rural families continued to send young children to serve as 
unpaid domestic labor for more affluent city dwellers.  The use 
of children in this manner is not limited to the wealthy class; 
middle and lower class families also follow the practice, 
called "restavek."  A 1991 U.N. study cited the estimated 
109,000 restavek children as an example of slavery practiced in 
the 20th century.  Employers compel the children to work long 
hours, provide them with poor nourishment, little or no 
education, and frequently beat them or abuse them sexually.

Port-au-Prince's large population of street children includes 
runaway restaveks, as well as children orphaned or separated 
from their families.  The abysmal state of the economy only 
worsened the plight of such children, who are held in little 
regard.  Rumors of street children being targeted by 
paramilitary operatives were probably based on the general 
disregard for the well-being of such children.  Local human 
rights groups do not regard the plight of restavek children as 
a priority and do not report on abuses of children or actively 
seek to improve their situation.  The Government took no 
measures to protect or otherwise provide for the restaveks or 
the street children.

     National/Racial/Ethnic Minorities

Some 99 percent of Haitians are descendants, in whole or in 
part, of African slaves who won their war of independence from 
France in 1804.  The remaining population is of European, 
Middle Eastern, North American, or Latin American origin.  
There are longstanding social and political animosities among 
Haitians, often tied to ethnic/racial heritage or class; some 
of these animosities date back before Haiti's revolutionary 
period.

There are two official languages:  Creole, which is spoken by 
virtually all Haitians, and French, which is spoken by about 20 
percent of the population.  The inability to read, write, and 
speak French has long limited the political and economic 
opportunities available to the majority of the population.  
Many argue that the French-speaking elite have used language 
requirements as an additional barrier to the advancement of the 
Creole-speaking majority.

     People with Disabilities

Despite the constitutional provision for means of autonomy for 
the handicapped, there is no enacting legislation mandating 
provision of access for people with disabilities.  There is no 
overt ill-treatment of people with disabilities, but, given the 
desperate poverty in which the vast majority of Haitians live, 
those with disabilities face a particularly harsh existence.

Section 6  Worker Rights

     a.  The Right of Association

The Constitution and the Labor Code provide for the right of 
association and provide workers, including those in the public 
sector, the right to form and join unions without prior 
government authorization.  The law requires a union, which must 
have a minimum of 10 members, to register with the Ministry of 
Social Affairs within 60 days of its establishment.  Union 
membership, marginal before the 1991 coup and even more so now, 
is estimated at 1 percent of the total labor force.  There are 
five principal labor federations:  the Autonomous Central of 
Haitian Workers, the National Confederation of Haitian 
Teachers, the Federation of Unionized Workers, the 
Confederation of Haitian Workers, and the Independent General 
Organization of Haitian Workers.  Each of these organizations 
maintains some fraternal relations with various international 
labor organizations.

Given the effect of the international sanctions on the formal 
sector of the economy, and, with unemployment running as high 
as 80 percent, unions were almost irrelevant, except as an 
instrument for keeping track of and offering limited assistance 
to their members.  During the period of de facto rule, the 
military continued to employ widespread repression and violence 
against those who engaged in trade union activities.  Many 
union leaders closed their offices and went into hiding in the 
aftermath of the 1991 coup.  Armed civilians attacked a meeting 
of officials of one of the large unions in August 1994 and beat 
several of those present.  Unions, as well as all other citizen 
groups or assemblies, could meet only with the express written 
permission of the military.  Since the return of President 
Aristide, labor unions, like other institutions of civil 
society, have been free to associate.  In meetings with the 
Government and representatives of the international community, 
unions have sought to encourage investment and an increased job 
market for their members.

A tripartite commission of labor, management, and government 
began to revise the Labor Code in 1986 and concluded its 
negotiations in 1992.  However, Parliament has yet to approve 
the new Code.  The revised Code recognizes the right to strike 
but restricts the duration of certain types of strikes, as did 
the previous code.  It also stipulates that the Ministry of 
Social Affairs must recognize workers' right to strike in each 
case before a strike is legal.

     b.  The Right to Organize and Bargain Collectively

The Labor Code protects trade union organizing activities and 
stipulates fines for those who interfere with this right.  
While the de facto authorities curtailed union activities, job 
losses as a result of economic conditions had a far more 
damaging impact on union activities.  Prior to the 1991 coup, 
organized labor activity was generally concentrated in the 
Port-au-Prince area, primarily in a large private sugar 
refinery, in the assembly sector, and in state enterprises, all 
three of which suffered drastic job losses following the coup.

Collective bargaining, which has never been widespread, was 
nonexistent in 1994.  Employers generally set wages 
unilaterally.  While Haiti has no export processing zones, 
prior to the trade embargo it did have a sizable 
export-oriented assembly sector.  The Labor Code does not 
distinguish between industries producing for the local market 
and those producing for export.  Many assembly sector companies 
were the focus of developmental efforts; they received greater 
outside scrutiny and were consequently somewhat more generous 
with benefits and wages.  Employment in the export assembly 
sector, however, declined drastically from 1991 through 1994, 
resulting in a loss of an estimated 34,500 jobs.  As the 
assembly sector contracted, unions that were particularly 
strong in this sector declined accordingly.

     c.  Prohibition of Forced or Compulsory Labor

The Labor Code prohibits forced or compulsory labor, but the 
Government rarely enforces these provisions.  Children 
continued to be subjected to forced domestic labor (see Section 
5).

     d.  Minimum Age for Employment of Children

The minimum employment age for minors in all sectors is 15 
years.  Fierce adult competition for jobs ensures that child 
labor is not a factor in the industrial sector.  Children under 
15 commonly work at odd jobs in both rural and urban settings 
to supplement family income.  The Ministry of Social Affairs is 
responsible for enforcement of child labor laws, but the 
International Labor Organization has criticized the enforcement 
as inadequate.

     e.  Acceptable Conditions of Work

The law establishes a minimum wage, and a few weeks before the 
September 1991 coup, Parliament set a new minimum wage of about 
$1.85 (26 gourdes) per day for workers in the industrial 
sector.  Although the minimum wage technically became law 
before the coup, the Government never published the legislation 
in the official Gazette; nevertheless, companies in the 
assembly sector adopted it.  Even if the private sector applied 
the revised minimum wage widely, it would not provide a worker 
and family with a decent living.  The minimum wage law also 
applies to agricultural workers, but the authorities do not 
enforce it.  Thus the majority of wage earners, who work in the 
agricultural sector, must survive on considerably less than the 
minimum wage.

The Labor Code governs individual employment; it sets the 
normal workday at 8 hours and the workweek at 48 hours, with 
24 hours of rest on Sunday.  It also establishes minimum health 
and safety regulations.  Employers in the industrial sector, 
which is concentrated in the Port-au-Prince area and more 
accessible to outside scrutiny, generally observe these laws in 
practice.  However, the Ministry of Social Affairs does not 
enforce them.  It also does not enforce Labor Code provisions 
on health and safety.  With more than 50 percent of the 
population unemployed, workers are not able to exercise the 
right to remove themselves from dangerous work situations 
without jeopardy to continued employment.


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[end of document]

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